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RE: Sulfate 'n soot kills dinos!

I've interspersed my answers - I've prefixed them with "*****".  (Allan E.)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
David Marjanovic
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 4:59 AM
To: The Dinosaur Mailing List
Subject: Re: Sulfate 'n soot kills dinos!

> [...] the ozone layer can be reduced to 10% of its
> normal amount (most likely via ionization).  [...]
> After the actual impact into the surface (land & water), then the soot and
> dust, etc. would also deplete the ozone layer even further.

This in addition to the nitric oxides which, or so I've read, would have
sufficed alone to destroy the ozone layer completely? Wow. :-o

> Besides that, the increased UV radiation, and other radiation (X-ray,
> Rays, Solar Flares, etc.),

Why other radiation? If the Earth's magnetic field didn't break down (and I
know of no evidence or ideas why it should have), the cosmic stuff should
have been largely kept out just as now. That doesn't apply to X-rays, but

without some major event in a nearby star, why should there have been more
X-rays than usually?

*****There is some reason to believe that the Van Allen Radiation Belts that
surround a large portion of the planet are a fairly recent addition (or
re-addition).  The bolide would likely have stripped away major portions
whatever version of the radiation belts, which also act as a filter for
Solar Flares, X-rays, and other radiation.  My thoughts are not that X-ray
emission increased, just that more would have been able to make it through
the depleted defenses (i.e. the radiation belts, the Ozone layer).  In
addition, the magnetic field MAY have been temporarily altered, especially
if there was a high iron content in the bolide, and the impact might have
added a minor wobble to the earth's spin, at least in comparison to the spin
prior to the impact.

> the surviving creatures would most likely have
> increased mutation rates.  This would certainly enable rapid evolutionary
> changes.

Interesting idea.

> One signature from this event (specifically the soot) would be the
> of "Bucky Balls" (in certain fossils).

Why in fossils and not just in the well-known soot? -- AFAIK buckyballs and
nano-diamonds are known from the K-T boundary layer, but I might have
jumbled that with another boundary layer.

*****There have been reports that buckyballs had been found at the K-T
boundary, however, the likelihood of some form of contamination was high.
(I'm sorry if this part is unclear, it's very late for me [6:00 AM]).

Allan Edels